Welcome to GBMarbella, the website of the DYNAMIC Carlos Varona Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy, located in beautiful Marbella, Spain.
The guys from Draculino Team Marbella had a great Chrismas dinner last night at the Asador Nagueles, where we feasted on some good Argentinean meat! Present were (from my left): Jaime, Juan, Badr, Babak, Danny, Benji (our resident traveling Australian), Leo, Augusto, Ezekiel, Federico and Lolo.
Today we trained:
- Side control samurai (baseball bat) choke with opponent’s gi under and over his defending arm.
We then did an hour of special fighting — groups of three, with pairs fighting round-robin. In the first series, the third man out took notes and commented on the fight afterwards. In the second, it was required that one person fighting is continually talking — what they’re thinking.
We ended the class with a 10-minute Augusto-led stretching session.
Was an interesting experiment!
Be sure not to miss this unique opportunity to participate in a seminar with 2011 World Champion, Felipe “Preguiça” Pena, on Thursday, February 2, at 19:30h at the Draculino Team Marbella academy. Cost is 25€.
Last week we had the privilege of hosting none other than Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes himself for an evening of seminars, beginning with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and concluding with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Draculino is literally one of the “founding fathers” of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and has probably produced more champions in his career than any other. Today he lives in Houston, Texas (USA) where he runs the Gracie Barra Houston academy, as well as managing a network of affiliates (ours included) around the world.
A seminar with Draculino is always special, as he has a natural gift for teaching. In the BJJ seminar, we focused on the back position, looking at various ways to transition to the back, and to finish. Every technique he demonstrated was efficient, effective, and something we can immediately incorporate into our toolboxes.
We were also really happy to have in attendance our friends from around Andalucia, including Vinicius (from Marbella), Jose Antonio (from La Linea), Pablo & Luis (from Malaga), Pablo Cabo (also from Malaga) and Nacho (from Tarifa).
A farewell to Thelmo
There was a sad portion of the evening as well, as we learned that our instructor of the past years, Thelmo Calmon, is returning to his home country of Brazil, to reunite with family and pursue a number of opportunities that have arisen for him there.
Thelmo has been dedicated to the club for almost half a decade, and will be surely missed. Fortunately, it looks like he’ll be able to return each July for a visit.
Leadership of the club will now pass to black-belt Matt Henderson, and brown-belt Leo Galati, with instruction assistance from all the brown belts, including Augusto Aloiso (who’s also the director of the gym), Daniel Nagore and Mike Rios.
With the European Championship nine weeks away, there’s no time to rest, so it’s back to work!
On Monday, Thelmo casually ended the class by saying, “So a good friend of mine from San Francisco is coming to town. He's a black belt and will be teaching a seminar.” We all thought, “Ok, cool.” Then he casually added, “Oh, yeah… it's Sapao!”
CARLOS SAPAO BAN!
This is huge news for the academy! Sapao visited us a few years ago, back when we were training in Puerto Banus, and everybody agreed he was one of the best guest instructors we've ever had. Sapao is one of the authentic pioneers of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When you see those photos from Rio de Janeiro, with Royce Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Helio Gracie, Ryan Gracie, etc. — you'll usually see Sapao right there in the mix. He's a legend.
And so we're super excited to announce a seminar tonight with Sapao, from 7PM to 10PM at Dynamic Training Center. The cost is 30 euros. Don't miss it!
Last night we had a great training sessions at Draculino Team Marbella — nearly 20 people! Nacho was up from Draculino Team Tarifa, and in the process of recovering from his knee surgery, he’s coming back strong. Augusto led a killer warmup, as only Augusto can, and then spun off some white belt training, while Thelmo went over a guard pass with the advanced group.
And, of course, the big news — Mikee “Tiburón” Hios IS BACK, tendonitis and all. I took it easy on him rolling, taking his back not finishing him, since we need to make sure he doesn’t get demoralized or anything. Ha! Just kidding — Mike can take year off if he want, and still wipe the map with us!
Tonight's training included two exciting events. First, we welcomed newly-crowned World Champion Babak Alimoradian back from Abu Dhabi, and congratulated him on his amazing win, and his new purple belt. Who would ever imagine that right here in little ol' Marbella, Spain, we'd have a World Champion. Incredible!
Something interesting we learned: When they make gold medals in Abu Dhabi, they go all out — Babak's included a spinner in the middle with an inscribed image of none other than Jesus Christ himself. We also discovered that the rumored prize of 8,000 barrels of petroleum was not true; turned out it was more like
Anyway, I pointed out to Babak, that I was proud to be able to say that I've personally arm-barred a world champion, and then he pointed out that that's not true; he wasn't a world champion when I arm-barred him, and that I'll have to try it now. I tried three times tonight — a triangle, a teepee submission and an armbar — and couldn't pull off any. Oh well, my quest continues…
In other news, Andalucia Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer, Augusto Aloisio, (and one of the original members of our club) was awarded the prized brown belt. It was a long time coming, and Augusto really deserved it. He's been on the winning side of many exciting championship fights both here in Spain and at the Europeans, and we all look forward to seeing him continue to maintain his competitive level and spirit at the brown belt. Congratulations, Augusto — onward now to the Faixa Preta!
Finally, it was good to welcome Sam Hall back to the dojo tonight. I rolled with Sam and noticed a marked improvement since his move to England. He's now a fourth-degree white, and you can tell he earned his stripes.
I'll leave you all with a video of tonight's happenings:
Having been a 7th ranked NCAA wrestler in the United States back in his youth, Babak Alimoradian started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Draculino Team Marbella just over a year ago. He picked up the sport fast, earning his Blue Belt in January of 2011.
For his first BJJ competition, Babak traveled in January 2011 with the team to Lisbon, Portugal, where he crushed his way through five fights to win the gold medal at the European Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championship, in the Masters Category (age 30 to 34).
With the taste of competition (and winning!) fresh in his mind, he immediately got to work training for the World Championships, in Abu Dhabi. This time, however, there would be no age categories, and Babak would be up against much younger opponents.
After many mornings of privates with Thelmo, many hards nights of training at class, many afternoons of cardio work on the paseo, and having left behind an entire team of banged-up training partners (including seven stitches in my forehead), Babak completed his preparation, and left last week for Abu Dhabi.
Well, the competition is now over, and we’ve got some amazing news to report — Babak won seven fights leading to a gold medal. He is now the blue belt World Champion! Just after the fight, coach Thelmo Calmon gave Babak his well-deserved purple belt.
Here’s the video of his gold medal fight, against a black belt judoka who last participated in the Olympics.
We had a great night of training on Wednesday, as we continued Monday’s lessons on basic BJJ strategy, as well as the perfect choke technique. Also, the whole class was stoked to learn Eddie Bravo’s “tee-pee” submission, when a guy caught in a choke tries to defend by hiding his arm.
And in news from the BJJ World Championships in Abu Dhabi, we just learned that Babak won all six fights today, and has advanced to the final round where he’ll fight for the gold medal on Saturday. Amazing performance from Babak!
We had a great training session tonight, with our extended new floorspace filled with nearly 20 students. Babak was training hard in preparation for the world’s in the next two weeks.
And here’s a photo from after class: